Watching Amazon Pilot Season: “The After”

Welcome to internet television, where there… are… no… rules!  At least that’s what we’re told. But usually internet tv shows boil down more or less to the same conventions we see everywhere else, except people say “fuck” way more.  That was certainly the case with The After.  Chris Carter was really going for a record with this one!  Add up all the movies starring Harvey Keitel ever made and you still don’t hear the word “fuck” as much as you do in the fifty-five minutes this supernatural apocalyptic thriller took to unfold.

The heroine of The After is Gigi, a sexy French girl we first think is an assassin but actually turns out to be an actress merely preparing to audition for the role of an assassin.  Because it’s always important to reference modern technology in an internet pilot to keep the kids interested, she FaceTimes with her sexy husband and adorable little girl who mumbles incoherently and toddles back and forth in a way I suppose parents who have kids find adorable, but that lead my mind to drift to more important issues like “What ever happened to Shields and Yarnell?” and “Why do my fingers smell like roast beef?”

Bad news, people: Gigi doesn’t get the part.  Even worse news: the audition was in Century City, which is basically a single street with big buildings sandwiched between Beverly Hills and the Westfield Shopping Mall and can apparently be rented out super-cheap because it’s subbed in as “important big city business hub” on every tv show since Knots Landing was still on the air.

Next thing you know, Gigi finds herself trapped in an elevator with a diverse group of strangers with varying ethnic backgrounds and mysterious pasts, including a Latina cop, a white middle aged dowager with a cane, an Irish loud-mouth brute (“We’re goona have tah take the fookin’ starwell!”), and a pudgy birthday clown.  The maximum capacity of the elevator did not allow for an emotionally-brittle Korean or a mean-faced Middle Easterner who regrets his past, so we’ll have to wait on them til we get a series pick-up.

In the span of about five seconds, everyone in the jammed elevator goes into red-alert panic, which I can tell you from first hand experience is not believable because once I got stuck in an elevator with Emmy-winning actress Tyne Daly while we were both on our way up to Islands Fine Burgers and Drinks, and instead of freaking out we sat down on the floor and played Uno until Guapo the security guard came and freed us with his special elevator key.

The gang eventually makes it into a locked parking structure, where they encounter a wrongly accused African American who’s recently escaped from prison, a sexy Southern “gal on the go,” and Adrian Pasdar, who has yet to be hired for a role where he doesn’t have to wear a dress shirt and an Armani two-button dress vest. For the next ten minutes, they all spend so long arguing and yelling at each other about what their next move should be that I honestly thought this show was going to be about a group of people having to re-populate the Earth from inside an underground West L.A.-adjacent parking structure (My boyfriend said that he’d be willing to have sex with the clown). –>READ MORE< --